Monday, June 30, 2008

Gender Networks established for MDAs

Gender Networks established for MDAs
The Ghanaian Times, Monday, June 30, 2008. Page 21
Dorothy Ankomah

The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affair (MOWAC) has instituted an Inter Ministerial Gender Network within ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to help improve coordination in mainstreaming gender into all sector policies, programmes and activities.

The sector minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, announced this on Thursday at a one National Information and Sensitisation Seminar on the ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC). The seminar was in pursuance of establishing, developing, facilitating and coordinating among others to ensure that matters related to disparities are incorporated within the framework of the objectives of the ECOWAS treaty.

Addressing the gathering, Hajia Mahama said the government in its 2008 budget and economic policy statement asked the ministry and two others to facilitate the processes of achieving gender responsiveness across all sectors. The others are the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) and the Nation Development Planning Commission (NDPC). That, she explained, is to enhance governments’ efforts addressing critical issues relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Hajia Mahama said under the micro-credit programme of the ministry, funds are allocated to vulnerable and organised women’s groups on the fringes of subsistence economy. She noted that apart from gender mainstreaming, women’s groups are also mobilised and offered skill training in micro-finance, group dynamics, entrepreneurial skills and bamboo handicrafts.

Hajia Mahama applealed to the Director of ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC) to include gender budgeting in its training programme to facilitate the effective achievement of its national goals.

The Action Director of ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre (EGDC), Aminata Dibba, in a speech, said the most fundamental development challenges facing the ECOWAS region have to do with widespread gender disparities and inequalities which she noted underpin the absence of adequate opportunities for women to participate effective in the country. She said though numerous efforts were made over the years the attainment of gender equity and equality as well as the empowerment of women continues to be a challenge to the development process of the ECOWAS region.

Ms Dibba said it is in recognition of the significance of gender equity and equality to sustainable development of that region that ECOWAS Heads of states and governments decided in January 2003 to set up the ECOWAS Gender and Development Centre. She said she its establishment, the ECOWAS Gender Centre has initiated a number of programmes aimed at bringing together stakeholders to identify measure for achieving gender equality within the context of the integration process in the ECOWAS region.

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